Experts: Including Coding in School Curriculum Will Promote Innovation and Technology Development in Nigeria.

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Ed-tech experts have urged policymakers in Nigeria to incorporate code learning in the school curriculum at both primary and secondary levels in order to improve technological advancement and innovations in the country.

This was the takeout from the virtual roundtable for the July edition of Edtech Monday moderated by a social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniel, which featured panellists such as the Chief Executive Officer, STEMi Africa, Amanda Obidike; Founder, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence of Nigeria, Dr Olusola Ayoola and a 7-year old pupil, Amanda Okocha.

Speaking at the roundtable with the theme ‘Coding for Learners in Africa’ Obidike noted that though coding was new in Nigeria, it had become imperative for coding to be included in the school curriculum considering the fact that the future would be largely dictated by technology, automation and artificial intelligence. According to her, with rising digitalisation and advance in technology, there is a need for every state in Nigeria to invest in coding.

While identifying data infrastructure as major drawback that could hinder code learning in schools, she noted that with effective collaborations with tech-driven organisations and mentorship, the issue around infrastructure and interest in coding would be resolved.

 “A lot needs to be done in the area of teacher reformation. Not only that, code learning should be made more inclusive such that young girls can easily be connected with the resources and get the confidence they need. Statistics have shown that 30.5 per cent of young women in Africa are unemployed because of STEM-related skills gap. But with right mentoring and resources, the narrative would be changed,” she said.

On his part, Ayoola explained that coding was key to 21st-century learning and development, stating that any country that fails to take advantage of introducing it to young learners may be hurting its future.

He stressed that beyond infrastructure, funding and knowledge gap between teachers and developers constitute serious stumbling blocks to incorporating coding in schools even as he urged the government to provide access to devices and invest in ICT rooms for schools in Nigeria.